A new European wine shop, cafe, and restaurant-bar will open in De Beauvoir, the liminal bourgeois boheme residential neighbourhood between Dalston and Islington which counts this deli-loving, anti-European keyboard warrior among its most famous residents. Hector’s will open just north of the well-known local pub the Scolt Head on Ardleigh Road in June this year.
It is a collaboration between one former partner and the current owner of Hill & Szrok, the butcher, provisioner, restaurant-bar — one which has flourished during the pandemic — on Broadway Market in Hackney. Hot Dinners reports that Jimmy Stephenson will leave Hill & Szrok and with his partner, the Harry Potter and the Witcher actor, Anna Shaffer open Hector’s with the backing of Luca Mathiszig-Lee, who owns and continues to run the Broadway Market location.
“As some of you may know I’ve been chipping away at this project for the past 6 months or so now, developing and trying to find a home for it. Finally I’m embarking on this massively exciting new chapter with my wife(to-be), my best mate and my family,” Stephenson wrote on Instagram last week. “@hectorslondon a family name, mine, my dad’s and grandad Stephenson’s.”
It will act both as a so-called “bottleshop” — a takeaway wine shop, which Stephenson says will draw from a “deep cellar of wines that I love; old & new, natties & classics” — and a neighbourhood wine bar and cafe.
The latter will delight those in and near the locale whose preferred European holiday destinations have not yet made it onto the Government’s “green list.” At the time of writing, only those returning to England from Portugal and Gibraltar after 17 May will not be legally obligated to undergo a period of quarantine.
Staycations it is for the wine-sipping citybreakers of Hackney then. Stephenson writes that Hector’s is inspired by the cave-à-mangers of Paris, the drinking holes of San Sebastián, cantina’s of Sicily, and the tascas of Lisbon. Venetian bacaros are not cited, but could be. Food-wise, it is expected that small, salty snacks will be offered to support the principal purpose of attending, which is to drink. As Hot Dinners notes: “Cantabrian anchovies soaked in olive oil with rose petals along with pate-en-croute made especially for them.” And, like one of London’s most celebrated cave-à-mangers, P. Franco, Hector’s will invite guest chefs for weekend takeovers and other events.
Alongside the wine, Hector’s mood board indicates it is going to enthusiastically lean into the sun-kissed and saturated style and aesthetic of classic southern European holiday destinations: Camparispritz, crisps, and olives, bitter espressos, cake, and cicchetti.
“Finding its home in De Beauvoir nicely sandwiched between Hackney & Islington aka my stomping ground,” Stephenson added. “I can’t wait to have you all through the doors this summer as the world opens up again! Stay tuned!!”